Rainbow Bee-eater

Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus lives mainly in Australia, with some birds migrating as far north as Indonesia in winter; vagrants have strayed north to Taiwan. ID Crown brownish. Black eye-stripe, bordered azure. Rest of upperparts mainly bright green, but rump and vent azure. Tail dark blue. Chin and throat yellow, shading to chestnut towards black bib below. Rest of underparts pale green, turquoise on lower belly and undertail coverts. Long “prongs,” or central tail feathers. Juvenile lacks prongs and is paler. Blue-tailed Bee-eater M. philippinus is appreciably larger, lacks bib, has more yellow on throat, and has a dark blue tail. BARE PARTS Bill long, decurved, black; feet black. VOICE Pleasant, fluty trill. — Craig Brelsford

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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